Autoneum has brought into operation the world’s third production line for manufacturing the semi-finished material of Ultra-Silent at its German production location in Gundernhausen, Hesse. With its lightweight underbody components made of the textile material Ultra-Silent, Autoneum makes a decisive contribution to the weight and noise reduction of vehicles. This simultaneously serves to improve aerodynamics and reduce fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions.
With the commissioning of the new production line for the manufacture of the Ultra-Silent semi-finished material in Gundernhausen (Germany), Autoneum is continuing the expansion of vertical integration in line with its strategy. By increasing the vertical range of manufacture, it is utilizing the entire potential of the value chain. Thanks to the newly installed production line, production capacity will be increased as of 2017 by over 50 percent from around 5.5 million underbody components produced per year in Europe to over eight million. Among other things this will benefit German, British, French and Japanese vehicle manufacturers, whose rising demand for lightweight underbody systems has been addressed with the capacity expansion.
At the additional production hall measuring 4,000 square meters, the fully automatic production line for manufacturing the semi-finished material for Ultra-Silent underbody systems is in operation in three daily shifts without interruption. Optimum production output is guaranteed by the monitoring of large numbers of process parameters resulting in the line being prepared for future Industry 4.0 applications. Serial production of the semi-finished material will start in early 2017. The production of the semi-finished material for Ultra-Silent at the Swiss plant in Sevelen (Canton of St. Gallen) will continue.
With Ultra-Silent, Autoneum offers the most lightweight textile underbody systems for vehicles: They are up to 50 percent lighter compared with corresponding components made of plastic. Ultra-Silent underbody systems also excel with a high degree of shock resistance and optimum stone chip protection. The mono-material made of glass-free PET is resistant against water and heat and fully recyclable. It also absorbs noise and in doing so reduces vehicle noise by up to two decibels. Furthermore, Ultra-Silent underbody systems enhance the aerodynamics of vehicles by reducing their drag by up to eight percent. This reduces fuel consumption and accordingly also CO₂ emissions.
Autoneum has been producing textile underbody components made of Ultra-Silent for the European market since 2009; so far over six million vehicles of European and Japanese customers have been equipped with these products. In Europe the light-weight components are manufactured among others in Sevelen and Gundernhausen. The global market launch of Ultra-Silent outside Europe took place in 2015 in North America.
Photos of the new production line in Gundernhausen are available for download at www.autoneum.com/media/press-kits.